ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Gujarat and Its 'Protean' State

Liberalisation, Hindu Nationalism and the State: A Biography of Gujarat by Nikita Sud (New Delhi: OUP), 2012; pp xvii + 249, Rs 695.

Gujarat has been much in the news in the past decade where economic growth and communal violence have been pitted against each other as being typical or representative of the state. Nikita Sud’s brilliant book, which examines the trajectories of economic liberalisation and Hindu nationalism, seeks to challenge such notions about Gujarat, which she argues deserves “more than being boxed into single, unimaginative categories” (p 184). Presented as a “Biography of Gujarat”, the book is a rich empirical account that examines the trajectory of economic liberalisation and Hindu nationalism over time to portray a complex picture of a protean state, eluding definitive pronouncements of “possibilities in ideas, action and politics” (p 184).

Emphasis on History

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